After Sarah Brightman, Will Sergey Brin Fly to the International Space Station?

Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin

Google co-founder Sergey Brin could be the next space tourist to journey to the International Space Station.

Space Adventures President Tom Shelley told Reuters that Brin, whose net worth is $30.2 billion, has put down a deposit on a seat aboard a future Soyuz flight to the orbiting laboratory.

“He paid us a deposit and whenever we have a seat available, he has the right of first refusal,” Shelley said.

Shelley said the company could have an open seat in 2017.

Brin and co-founder Larry Page have a deep interest in space. Their company has sponsored the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize for the first private company to land a rover on the surface of the moon. This week, Google announced the purchase of Skybox Imaging, which provides images of the Earth from space. The company also is reportedly developing a satellite network to provide high-speed broadband services on a global basis.

Before Brin flies, British soprano Sarah Brightman, will pay $52 million for a 10-day trip to the space station in September 2015. She will be the ninth person to visit ISS as a tourist since Space Adventures sent Dennis Tito there in 2002.  Brightman plans to sing during her orbital trip.

Brightman is in a race with Lady Gaga to be the first professional singer to perform in space. For more on that story, click here.


13 Responses to “After Sarah Brightman, Will Sergey Brin Fly to the International Space Station?”

  1. 1 windbourne

    I wonder if SpaceX can scoop that? In particular with Bigelow.

    If SpaceX is charging 24 million / seat in 2017, I will be surprised. By that time, F9R should be working. As such, 1/4 of the money could come off, so that less than 20 million / seat is possibility. Hopefully, BA could do their stuff for say 5-10 million for a 2-6 month trip. If so, that would stop space adventurers from pushing Russian flights.

  2. 2 Michael Vaicaitis

    Seems to me that a reusable (even if only the first stage) F9 and a reusable Dragon is not going to cost SpaceX $140 million per mission ($20million x 7seats). I would have thought that a large proportion of the price is to amortise development costs. SpaceX are in a Catch22 position – they have to lower costs dramatically to encourage more business over which they can spread their costs and lower prices to encourage more business over which they can spread their costs and lower their prices… But if they lower them too soon they risk not having enough income to continue to pay for ongoing R&D. I’m sure NASA would love to take advantage of lower costs, but they’ve got a large chunk of their budget tied up in SLS/Orion. So I think you’re right, we’re gonna have to pin a lot of our hope on Bigelow, and/or be more patient than we want to be.

  3. 3 Michael Vaicaitis

    Nice to have this news about Brin. Helps bring a different context on other “rumours” of Google’s interest in space projects.

  4. 4 Hug Doug

    SpaceX’s ace in the hole for that Catch-22 is that their prices are already by far the lowest. i think they’ve already got the “encourage more business” portion of that cycle rolling, judging by their launch manifest.

  5. 5 Tonya

    Maybe Steve Ballmer bought him the ticket…

  6. 6 Michael Vaicaitis

    They’ve got the prices to capture most of the satellite market, but for human space flight they’ll need more destinations.

  7. 7 Hug Doug

    that is true. better keep an eye on what Bigelow does once the Commercial Crew vehicles become operational

  8. 8 windbourne

    LOL. It would not be the first time that MS has tried things like that.

  9. 9 windbourne

    In what way? The fact that they want to be in space?
    Personally, I think that Brin has made a BIG mistake in doing this, right now.
    He should have waited until things cooled down with Russia.

  10. 10 windbourne

    Iff they can start delivering at the rate that they have been promising, they will have plenty of commercial space. In fact, I will be intrigued to see what happens in this ‘space’. Will a company like Thales move to using SpaceX only, since they claim that they are working with China solely because of their prices?
    Likewise, will companies in Europe pick SpaceX rather than Russia or Airbus with prices far below theirs?

    But, beyond that, I think that if SpaceX has F9R and perhaps dragon re-usable in the next year or so, I would think that SpaceX might drop the price for going to space to not only gut Soyuz, but also to massively undercut Boeing’s/ULA’s prices. At that point, even Shelby will have difficulty continuing to pull his BS.
    However, I think that if SpaceX/BA can get prices down below 20 million and maybe down to 15M, that many other nations will have no choice but to jump on it. That is just so low of a price that it is insane not to get ready for the moon.

  11. 11 windbourne

    So very very true.
    But LEO makes the perfect training ground for new space programs. IOW, by BA putting up 1 to 2 space stations, along with a tug/crew habitate that can move between them, then other nations can train to go elsewhere.

    The real destination that will make space take off, will be the moon. So many are pushing for SLS to go to the moon, but that has to be the WORST idea going. Far too expensive.
    Instead, by using BAs along with cheap re-usable space launchers, it will make the moon possible for multiple nations. Even if it costs 100M per person, nearly all nations with money will gladly pay to avoid missing possible opportunities.

  12. 12 windbourne

    Actually, I watch them constantly now. ILC Dover and BA are the 2 important ones. Both are working on aspects of it.
    Ideally, NASA/CONgress will support both so that we have competition going.

  13. 13 Hug Doug

    yeah, SpaceX really needs to start working through the backlog on their launch manifest. Canaveral’s launch schedule is quite busy though, so they really need to get their Texas launch site operational as soon as possible, though they’ve said it will take two years to build. it will be interesting to see what their launch rate is then.

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